Gear Guy

What Are the Best Four-Season Tents?

Can I use my three-season tent in the snow? Or should I cough up the money for a four-season model?

What Are the Best Four-Season Tents?

Photo: Mighty Sequoia Studio/

Nothing beats camping in the quiet winter landscape—and it’s not as cold as you’d think, as long as you bed down in a four-season tent. These tents are built specifically to withstand the rigors of that fourth season, with a sturdy construction designed to shed snow as well as insulate, stop wind, and release moisture from inside the shelter. (You breath out as much as a liter of water as you sleep, so you don’t want to awake to a micro weather pattern inside the tent.) While you can make do with a three-season tent in calm weather, you won't regret the extra investment.

When shopping for Nor’easter-proof tents, try a few to see how easy they are to pitch; You don’t want to fiddle with a needlessly complicated system of guy wires and poles in inclement weather. And look for high-quality poles: all the following tents source poles from the same company in South Korea, DAC, which has figured out how to make their high-tech designs more than 15 percent stronger than ordinary aluminum poles. As a basis of comparison, we chose two-person tents.

Big Agnes String Ridge 2
Mountain Hardwear Trango 2
Sierra Designs Convert 2
Marmot Alpinist 2P
Black Diamond Firstlight

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